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Readers of magazines like Glimmer Train and Asimov's may recognize Michael Poore's name from his short fiction, but if you're among the uninitiated, you'll have the joy of discovering a wise and witty voice in his wickedly funny debut novel, Up Jumps the Devil.
"Everybody knows the devil is American." John Scratch, the Devil himself, has spent centuries brokering deals with souls as collateral to shape America into the greatest place since Paradise, all in the name of wooing back his girlfriend, a glamorous angel who finds Earth too coarse and violent. Scratch's great experiment begins with the Puritans and a herd of amorous cows, continues with Benjamin Franklin and reaches its zenith with a trio of young musicians hungry for fame, fortune and the power to change the world. Handsome, devious and powerful, Scratch thinks he has fate under control, but his misjudgment of humanity may cost him not only his plans, but his life.
Poore resurrects not the Devil of the Bible or of Milton, but the Devil of tall tales and Washington Irving, a greasily charming but fallible trickster as tempted as he is tempting, less a creature of evil than one of sheer opportunism. Up Jumps the Devil is an irreverently hilarious and sinfully smart love letter to the history and folklore of the United States, but John Scratch's charismatic and outrageous personality steals the show and will have readers cheering for the fiendish hero as he attempts to mend the original broken heart.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***